Four GOP lawmakers from Texas all voted against $15.25 billion in federal disaster aid — rejecting its tie to the debt ceiling and budget, the Washington Post reported.
Reps. Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson and Mac Thornberry voted "no" on legislation passed by Congress and awaiting President Donald Trump's signature that mostly boosts emergency responders, and helps small businesses and homeowners rebuild, the Post reported.
Earlier in the week, the entire Texas delegation voted for an $8 billion package for Harvey victims. But after Trump made a deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling and budget, that original package died in the Senate, which instead passed a measure with the additional provisions, the Post noted. The House followed suit on Friday.
Estimates for Harvey cleanup go as high as $150 billion.
None of the "no" lawmakers represent a coastal area in Texas, the Post reported, and their rejection never jeopardized passage of the final measure, which cleared the House 316-90, the Post reported.
"I am not against voting for relief programs to help hurricane victims, but I am against raising the public debt ceiling without a plan to reduce deficits in the short term, and eliminate them in the long term," Barton said in a statement after the vote, the Post reported.
"The money we vote to spend today will have to be paid back by our children and grandchildren."
Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in his own statement: "Disaster assistance should be considered on its own — not to advance another agenda."
He added later that failing to pass a full budget also puts people in danger.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), who represents Corpus Christi, where the storm made landfall, told the Dallas Morning News, "We're here today to tell those folks in Florida, those folks in Texas and those who face disasters all over this country that this, this Congress has your back."
But he later conceded, "Unfortunately, this has turned a little political, and it doesn't need to be," the Post reported. "This is about people helping people, Americans helping Americans."
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